Sunproof your skin

There's no denying it, Dubai weather ruins your skin. Here's how to fight back and keep your complexion in check


At the best of times, Dubai’s climate is rough on the skin. The summer months, however, can turn the skin into an oil field or, alternatively, leave it as parched as the Sahara.

In the worst case scenario, the Dubai sun can make eager sunbathers ripe candidates for skin cancer. To get a hold on how best to treat and cover the skin now the temperatures are rising we consulted a beauty consultant and a dermatologist for their advice.

Our dermatologist says…
‘Due to the heat in Dubai, there is more intra-violet light and infra-red than in other parts of the world. Hence, the climate has a more adverse effect on skin than most. This can result in sunburns in the fair skinned, and heat rash in those with darker pigmentation. Obviously, wearing sunscreen is imperative, but it’s also important what kind of sun screen you wear. SPF 6 or 8 will only help your skin cook. It’s important to wear a sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 15, and to reapply it every two to three hours, even if you’re at home (keep in mind, ultra-violet rays can penetrate windows).

Sitting under an umbrella on the beach is helpful, but only marginally, as 70-80 per cent of UVR rays reflect off the sand. It is therefore best to cover up when you’re not in the ocean, and wear T-shirts and shorts to block the rays. Remember, tanning and sunburns are the short term effects of spending time out in the sun. In the long term, you are looking at premature skin ageing and possibly skin cancer.’
Dr K. El-Hoshy, The DentalSpa.

Our beauty consultant says…

‘Extreme heat, high humidity and constantly shifting temperatures (going from air-conditioning into the heat, for example) are all going to take their toll on the skin. Usually, extreme heat and humidity results in excess oil production, pimples and rosacea. In summer, people tend to treat these symptoms by using heavy cleansers and lighter lotions to strip their skin of oil. This actually makes the skin produce more oil to compensate.

It’s better to use lotion that has extract of calendula [a flower common in the Mediterranean and Iran]. Calendula naturally tells the skin to produce less oil and because it’s natural it’s better for the skin. Cream cleansers are good at removing residue from moisturisers and they don’t dehydrate the skin. Also, people tend to use anti-ageing moisturisers that also have SPF in them, but when it goes onto the skin, the anti-ageing ingredients break down the SPF. It’s better to use an SPF on top of anti-ageing moisturiser. It’s also vital to exfoliate, as this will remove debris on the skin, unblock pours and help reduce fine lines.’
Deborah Mitchell, beauty therapist and founder of organic skin care line Heaven, available at The Nail Spa.

Recommended products:

Soltan Once, Dhs40 for two products, available at Boots Pharmacy Dr. K El-Hoshy says: ‘As a rule, use a cream formulation if you have dry skin, and a gel or spray if you have oily skin. Sport lotions are great, because when you sweat, they won’t sting your eyes.’

Heaven Youthful Moisturiser, Dhs330, available at The Nail Spa Deborah Mitchell says: ‘This product has calendula in it too, which will feed the skin and tell it not to produce more oil. It also is a good product for dehydrated skin, and works best if you use it day and night.’

Yves Saint Laurent Perfect Touch foundation, Dhs193, available at Harvey Nichols, Mall of the Emirates Deborah Mitchell says: ‘This product is great. It restores moisture levels, and has seaweed extracts that protect the skin from UV rays.’

Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin Body Lotion, Dhs235, available at Jo Malone in The Dubai Mall Deborah Mitchell says:
‘I just really love the smell of Jo Malone products, and the lotion really sets in.’

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